ENGLAND – Walgreens, the second-largest pharmacy chain in the world, is applying for a US passport application to open in Ireland.
The application is being considered after Walgros Irish passport office announced it was opening its Dublin office in the Irish capital.
Walgreens’ application for a passport is likely to be made in early January, and will be subject to approval by the Irish passport department, the company said.
Walgreen’s application is a response to a recent EU directive requiring a new passport to be issued for every new EU citizen.
The company said it is now exploring the possibility of expanding its Irish office to other countries.
Walgate said it expects to have about 500 employees working in Ireland at its Dublin and the other two offices it operates in the country.
Irish passport applications have been the subject of scrutiny since the EU Commission ruled last year that it was not possible for a company with a turnover of €20 million or more to obtain a passport.
The Commission found that the new passport requirement was “unjustifiable”, and that “some companies” could benefit from the rule.
Walmart said the new rule would not affect its operations in Ireland and that it would not seek to open a new office.
However, the European Commission has repeatedly questioned Walgens application to get a passport, saying it was an “unusual application” because it did not have to meet the EU requirement.